There are some things you can and ought to do at an early stage to organise your money. Don’t be tempted to put them off.
- Sort out your household bills and make sure they’re in your name. However, don’t pay bills you’re not liable for, such as someone else’s credit card (unless this is in joint names). If your partner has died with any debts, these should be paid out of the money and property they leave behind. If you shared a bank account or jointly-owned property and there are debts outstanding, talk to a solicitor about how they should be repaid.
- If your partner has died, make a list of all their assets, including bank or building society accounts, ISAs, shares, premium bonds and insurance policies. Their will should tell you what they have left to you. You may also be entitled to insurance pay-outs.
- List your outgoings and work out a realistic budget, including money for social outings and so on.
- Write down everything you spend for a few weeks to give yourself an idea of your actual living costs.
- Look for ways you can make savings - for example, switching energy or telephone suppliers.